Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that progressively gets worse. Through regular eye exams, eye problems like glaucoma can be found early and a treatment plan put into place to help manage the disease. Glaucoma is typically the result of pressure building up inside of the eye. This increase in pressure can hurt the optic nerve and ultimately interfere with the transmission of images to the brain. If left untreated, glaucoma can result in permanent vision loss. Studies show that glaucoma tends to be inherited, but may not appear until a more advanced age.
Am I at risk for glaucoma?
Many people do not have early symptoms of glaucoma so it is difficult to know if you have it without regular eye exams. If you are over the age of 40 and have family members with glaucoma, you should have a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years. In addition, if you have diabetes, a family history of other eye conditions, are of African American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent, or take steroid medications, you may be required to visit your eye doctor more regularly. In the end, these regular visits will help apprehend the onset of any eye conditions and allow them to be treated early and properly.
What causes glaucoma?
Glaucoma can be the result of high fluid pressure buildup inside the eye. Other causes, though less common, include injury to the eye, a severe eye infection, a chemical injury to the eye, blocked blood vessels within the eye, and inflammatory problems. Glaucoma generally impacts both eyes but one eye may be worse than the other.
What are the symptoms?
People typically don’t have any symptoms. The first indication is a loss of peripheral vision. This sign often goes unnoticed, which is why you should consider having regular eye exams. Sometimes the pressure in the eye can become so extreme that you can develop sudden eye pain, blurred vision, nausea, or headache.